National Park in Gloucester County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Medicinal Garden
Red Bank Battleﬁeld
“Here was a pitiable sight. About 200 were laying on straw in two large rooms, some without arms or legs and others again with their limbs crushed like mush . . . . some floated in blood and told me that some had died for lack of something to bandage their wounds with. While I was there several men died in great agony and convulsions. . . ”
Following the battle, the Whitall’s home served as the field hospital for hundreds of injured Hessian soldiers. Surgeons were limited in how they could treat the injured. Amputation was common and infection expected. Doctors did not understand the importance of sanitation in surgery. Surgeons looked to nature to provide many of their treatments.
This garden contains many examples of medicinal herbs available to physicians at the time. They used lamb’s ear as bandages and willow bark to treat pain and fever. Ann Whitall actually refused to leave her home during the battle. While no historical documents exist, descendants of the Whitalls claim Ann treated the wounded and chastised them for their
Erected 2015 by New Jersey Historical Commission.
Location. 39° 52.161′ N, 75° 11.434′ W. Marker is in National Park, New Jersey, in Gloucester County. Marker is on Hessian Road when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is located in front of the Whitall House on the Red Bank Battlefield. Marker is in this post office area: National Park NJ 08063, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. James and Ann Whitall House (a few steps from this marker); Ann Cooper Whitall (a few steps from this marker); Welcome to Red Bank Battlefield Park! (a few steps from this marker); Whitall House (a few steps from this marker); Operations on the Delaware (within shouting distance of this marker); The Aftermath (within shouting distance of this marker); National Park Armed Service Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); Welcome to Red Bank Battlefield (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in National Park.
More about this marker. The upper right of the marker contains a picture of surgeon’s instruments and has a caption of “A soldier undergoing surgery during the war faced a very bleak outcome. Amputations, infection, and blood loss were an all-too-familiar scene following a bloody battle such as Red Bank.” Below this is a photo of Lamb’s Ear, with the caption “The Whitalls grew many herbs, which were useful for treating wounded soldiers. Lamb’s Ear was used as a bandage. Its astringent qualities helped slow the loss of blood and aided in healing.”
Also see . . . Red Bank Battlefield. Account of the action at Fort Mercer during the Revolutionary War (Submitted on October 20, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
Categories. • Science & Medicine • War, US Revolutionary •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 20, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 196 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on October 20, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.